SensAble’s FreeForm 3D Modeling System Used To Design New Coins

11 Aug, 2008

Sculptors create intricate designs in digital clay using virtual touch technology.

At the SIGGRAPH conference in Los Angeles today, SensAble Technologies announced that the United States Mint has used the FreeForm 3D modeling system to design some of its most recent coins, including both collectible and currently circulating releases. As sculpting and engraving professions transition to digital technologies, United States Mint designers have used FreeForm to incorporate classical artistry and textural refinement in their engravings, while benefiting from digital efficiencies to meet the Mint's aggressive commemorative program schedule.

United States Mint coins created using FreeForm include:

  • Bald Eagle Half-Dollar, 2008, obverse (front side) — part of the American Eagle Commemorative Coin series, this clad coin features a highly crafted baby eagle in the foreground, against a background of a striped U.S. flag.

  • James Monroe $1 Coin, 2008, obverse (front side) — one of four presidential coins being issued this year. SensAble's FreeForm was used to create the obverse's likeness of the president, complete with prominent cheekbones and chin.

  • Louisa Adams $10 Gold Coin, 2008, reverse (tail side) — part of The First Spouse Gold Coin series, featuring an image of Louisa and son Charles in front of graceful Arc de Triomphe-style arches that symbolize their journey across Europe to join her husband John Quincy Adams in Paris during his diplomatic years.

  • Arizona State Quarter, 2008, reverse (tail side) — a currently circulating coin featuring an image of the Grand Canyon at the top, a saguaro cactus in the foreground, and a banner across the middle reading "Grand Canyon State." Because the saguaro cactus does not grow in the Grand Canyon, the high-relief banner visually separates the other images.

  • San Francisco Old Mint $5 Gold Coin, 2006, reverse (tail side) — featuring a rendition of the Old Mint modeled on the original 1869 construction drawing by A.B. Mullett.